The need for a rheumatologist at Mayo General Hospital was emphasised at a meeting of the HSE Regional Health Forum on Tuesday in Merlin Park.
Councillor Annie May Reape made a strong case to the HSE to have a rheumatologist appointed to Mayo General and hospital network manager Mr Alan Moran agreed it would be preferable to have a visiting outpatient unit in Mayo.
However Mr Moran said that would not be possible until a fourth rheumatologist was appointed at Merlin Park.
Currently there are three rheumatologists working at the Galway hospital, covering the counties of Mayo, Galway, and Roscommon. Mr Moran stressed that patients who need to be seen urgently are catered for.
“There are hundreds of adults and children suffering from rheumatoid arthritis in the county and it is too far to expect these sufferers to travel to Galway to receive treatment while in acute pain,” Cllr Reape said. “Twenty-five years ago Mayo had a service in the form of an outpatients clinic at Castlebar and I intend to continue campaigning to have a consultant designated to Mayo General and will keep it up until one is delivered.”
“I understand that there are three consultants based in Galway and I strongly urge the HSE to assign one to Mayo General,” she added.
Cllr Reape was supported by Cllr Seamus Weir.